Is 'Who is Erin Carter?' based on a true story?

All you need to know about the new Netflix mini-series

Who is Erin Carter? still taken from the Netflix show with woman hands up and man with gun behind her
(Image credit: Netflix)

Thriller fans have a new juicy show to add to their watch list and many are asking is Who is Erin Carter? based on a true story?

There have been several new TV shows recently which has viewers questioning whether any of the show is based on real-life events - from Apple TV's The Crowded Room to Netflix's The Strays. And if you love crime dramas like The Real Vanishing Act: The Missing Millionairess - which had fans wondering what happened to Melissa Caddick - you might like the mysterious character new thriller Who is Erin Carter?

New teacher Erin is living as an expat in Spain, but it is only when she starts fighting off criminals that her students begin to wonder who she really is.

Also a mum and wife, the British teacher gets caught up in a supermarket robbery - but little did viewers realise that she needs to add 'badass fighter' to her CV.

All is not as it seems - mainly because Erin isn't your average expat - as it quickly becomes clear she isn't who she says she is. But how far will she go to keep her true identity under wraps? 

We look at whether Who is Erin Carter? is based on a true story...

Is 'Who is Erin Carter?' based on a true story?

No, Who is Erin Carter? is not thought to be based on a true story. It's producers haven't stated that it is, and given that the fictional star's identity is kept under wraps, we might not know even if it was. The seven-part mini series is written by Jack Lothian for Netflix from Left Bank Pictures - producers of The Crown.

When asked, Who is Erin Carter? Actress Evin Ahmad, who plays the fictional titular character, explained, "When I first came on board for this project I myself was wondering that. Who is Erin? How should we develop her and how shall I play her? I have never actually seen a woman like this in a show before. 

"When you see female action characters, it’s mostly in a sci-fi context, but Erin is a seemingly normal woman who knows how to fight really well. She obviously has a past which she tries to hide, but I think she’s ultimately a person who wants to do right. She really loves her family and her new life, and at the same time, she has something dark within her. 

Evin added, "She isn’t the person who always follows the rules. She can get a huge kick out of doing some illegal things and sometimes her just being a substitute teacher gets a bit boring. It made me think ‘do you always have to be just the wife or just the teacher or just the mother or just a criminal?’ You can be everything all at once. There are multiple sides to Erin which I really enjoyed playing."

Who is Erin Carter? still from the Netflix thriller, mum Erin Carter (Evin Ahmad) and daughter Harper holding each other

(Image credit: Netflix)

What happens in Who Is Erin Carter?

Fans who are wondering what happens in Who is Erin Carter? read on... British expat and substitute teacher Erin Carter leaves England at the break of dawn on a fishing boat, accompanied by her daughter Harper. They are carrying little luggage and appear to be running away from something or someone.

Fast-forward to the present day, and Erin has landed a new job at a school in Barcelona, Spain, where she lives with her loving husband Jordi, and young daughter, Harper. 

Erin has managed to build an ordinary life for herself in Santa Alma, a fictional upmarket community on the outskirts of the city, until one day she gets caught up in a violent robbery at the local supermarket. 

And when one of the robbers claims to recognise her, Erin’s life begins to unravel. She’s forced to battle to clear her name and protect her family... But is she really who she claims to be? 

Who is Erin Carter? combines a unique blend of genres: Erin’s family life and work life at the local international school offers rich character-driven domestic drama, while the crime story combines nail-biting plot twists with breath-taking action sequences.

Evin Ahmad as Erin Carter in Who is Erin Carter? Netflix thriller

(Image credit: Netflix)

Who Is Erin Carter? reviews

Film critics have been quick to leave their reviews of Who is Erin Carter? in order for others to decide whether it's a show worth watching when it's released on Thursday 24 August.

The Guardian's Lucy Mangan was less impressed, and titled her review "The real question is: who cares?" before summing up with, "This mystery drama is deathly dull, packed with cliches and atrocious dialogue. It’s the TV equivalent of a cry for help."

Among the many cliches, she notes, "Cliches abound – the slow-motion shower shot, the dark drawings in the child’s schoolbook expressing unresolved trauma, an effortfully carefree moment frolicking in the sea. Characters say – actually say – 'It’s OK not to be OK' and 'All things considered, it could have been worse' and 'Are you sure you’re OK?'"

Meanwhile, a review posted on by Karina Adelgaard, suggests that viewers give the first episode a try and make their decision on whether to continue.

For those that do like it, they're told, "Then enjoy the rest of this series," ut are warned that some elements "felt a little soap opera adjacent".

However, Karina felt more likely to continue the series "when the title character follows up any such moments with a suitable amount (to me anyway) of profanity."

She added, "Then I feel right at home with it again." 

"Also, the daughter in this series is brilliant!" the reviewer praised.

Who is Erin Carter? is available stream on Netflix from 24 August 2023.

If you love thrillers you might like some of these other shows including Heart of Stone which will leave you asking where is the Heart of Stone filmed? or perhaps Triptych which was released on Netflix earlier this year.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)